Azerbaijan, Romania and Bulgaria can set up a joint working group on gas supply, Secretary of State with Romanian Ministry of Energy Iulian-Robert Tudorache said in an exclusive interview with Trend.
Talking about bilateral relations between Azerbaijan and Romania in energy sphere, he noted that there is undoubtedly a significant potential for cooperation between our countries in the energy sector and important opportunities were recently identified at the companies’ level: the underground gas storage, cooperation in on-shore and offshore Caspian gas projects, cooperation in the exploration and exploitation of gas volumes discovered in the Romanian Black Sea area, development of cooperation in the fields of research, operation, design, dispatching, maintenance, including potential future common approaches to the development of the Shah Deniz 3 field and in the context of SOCAR participation as shareholder in major projects such as TAP, TANAP etc.
"We also envisage setting up a Joint Working Group, maybe even tripartite with the participation of our Bulgarian partners, for the configuration of the Azerbaijani gas routes to Bulgaria and Romania. For TRANSGAZ, SOCAR can become a bridge to Azerbaijan and the Caspian region. For SOCAR, TRANSGAZ can create the necessary infrastructure for a safe and efficient gas transport corridor to the European market. As I mentioned before, the pre-conditions for the gas from the Azerbaijani Shah Deniz fields to reach the Bulgarian, the Romanian and Central European gas markets are in place. To this effect, new strategic partnerships with SOCAR could be developed," said Tudorache.
He went on to add that a time reference point in bilateral relationship between Azerbaijan and Romania was the signing on September 28, 2009, by the presidents of the two countries, of the "Declaration on Establishing a Strategic Partnership between Romania and Republic of Azerbaijan", on the occasion of the official visit to Romania of His Excellency Mr. Ilham Aliyev.
He recalled that the Action Plan for the implementation of the Strategic Partnership between Romania and the Republic of Azerbaijan was signed also in Baku in 2011.
"Romania and Azerbaijan have excellent cooperation relations and a very strong Energy Partnership. The cooperation between Romania and Azerbaijan is of particular importance considering especially the possibility to diversify the gas supply sources and implicitly to increase the energy security," Tudorache said.
The deputy minister noted that both TRANSGAZ and ROMGAZ, two of the most important Romanian companies in the natural gas sector, have long-standing cooperation relationships with SOCAR.
"For example, to better structure the existing cooperation, TRANSGAZ and SOCAR have signed in 2016 a Memorandum of Understanding with the view of joint participation in projects of wide regional interest and in the context of linking the Southern Gas Corridor to the Vertical Corridor," he added.
Tudorache said it is a moment when the sides are discussing extremely interesting developments in the regional and global energy landscape.
"That is why, I wish that all the experience that Romania has accumulated at the national level in the energy sector over the past 100-150 years, as well as the long tradition that the Republic of Azerbaijan enjoys in the energy sector, especially in the oil and natural gas sector, to lead to a much higher level of cooperation, to a much stronger ambition of local companies in our countries to put into practice projects of common interest. I want Azerbaijani companies to invest more in Romania, as well as Romanian companies to be more present on the Azerbaijani market, to identify and to capitalize on the business opportunities and to be able to play a significant role in the region, including with a view to ensuring energy security. And I think we have both in Romania and Azerbaijan many national companies that can do this successfully," he noted.
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